UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Linguistics Seminar - Shigeto Kawahara

19 May 2021, 9:00 am–11:00 am

Linguistics seminar

Pokémonastics: what we are doing and why we are doing it

Event Information

Open to



Richard Jardine
The seminar will take place on Zoom. Please contact the organiser for the sign up details.

Seminar Title: Pokémonastics: what we are doing and why we are doing it

Abstract: Sound symbolism—systematic associations between sounds and meanings—had not been a topic that was actively explored in the generative tradition. In my recent research, however, I argue that formal phonology can inspire research on sound symbolism, and vice versa. In this talk, I illustrate this thesis based on a new research paradigm, dubbed “Pokémonastics” (Kawahara et al. 2018; Shih et al. 2019), in which researchers explore the nature of sound symbolism in human languages using Pokémon names. In this talk, I am going to review (1) how Pokémonastics began, (2) why it is a useful research strategy, (3) what we have found so far, and (4) what more needs to be done.

About the Speaker

Shigeto Kawahara

Associate Professor at Keio University

More about Shigeto Kawahara